Intro pages, or splash pages, are those flashy pages you may see when you visit a website. It’s the first page and usually has a loading bar or some sort of interactive content. While this may seem appealing at first, there are reasons why these intro pages should be avoided.
These reasons can be broken down into two categories:
End-User Problems and SEO
Typically, when a new visitor comes to your site, they have a purpose in mind. They are looking for something and do not want to take any extra steps to find it. Having to wait for a page to load, then click yet another button just to get into your site will most likely lead to frustration, possibly leading the visitor to leave without even entering your site.
When you have returning visitors, they already know where they want to go and will feel that same frustration if they have to visit that same pretty-but-useless splash page every time they visit.
In addition to the extra steps a visitor must take just to get into your website, they will also have to wait for the intro page to load, as these pages are usually heavily weighed down with large graphics, flash or videos. This wait time is the last thing you need, as most people do not want to wait. Instant gratification is what people are looking for, not slow-loading websites.
Search engines are not humans. They are programmed to read links, text and content. By serving them an intro page on a silver platter, you are denying them all the precious content that could be found on your homepage, thus lowering your page rankings. If you have no content on that first page of your site, the search engines have nothing to rank.
Not only do search engines love content, but they love fresh, new content. Most splash pages are set up and left. If there is no new content, the search engine will think you are not updating your site and may start indexing you lower in the ranks.
The last thing you want is to spend the time and money on building your perfect site, only to have the search engines pass you by. Unless you don’t want to attract new visitors to your site, a flashy intro page is not for you.